Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


Three months ago this week, April 21, the United States confirmed the nation’s first case of what was then called the “Novel” Coronavirus.

A Washington State man, in his 30’s, had recently returned from Wuhan, China, the epic-center of an outbreak that had killed six people, was infected.

What transpired since then has gone beyond what anyone could have imagined.

The story is still growing and will be sometime in our future before it plays out.

Now almost 2.5 million people worldwide have been infected with Covid-19 and the U.S. is reporting more cases than any other country with 44,000 deaths and still climbing.

Almost 800,000 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. Our lives have been turned upside down.

We’re dumping milk, smashing eggs and burying fields of produce.

At some point we’re going to come through this nightmare.

At my advanced age I’m not sure I have enough life left to see a vaccine developed.

Scientist are optimistic that a vaccine may be developed in 18 months or so.

However, no vaccine has ever been developed in less than four years.

Aids took nearly six years.

The Covid-19 is the third virus to emerge in the past 18 years and it’s a sure bet there will be four or five more.

We dare not be unprepared next time.

The first element this time initially was the lack of formal recognition by our government that this was a problem.

We ended up in a situation where no testing was really available.

Testing has lagged from day one. In Texas, one tenth of one per cent of the people have been tested.

Many counties like Orange, have no testing in sight.

I believe the state is “cooking the books in reverse,” not wanting the big number.

Many more than we will ever know are infected.

Many will die and will be chalked up as natural cause deaths.

The above I’ve written for historical reasons to document these times.*****I’m still hunkered down and health wise I’ve seen brighter days.

I must move on.

Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


My mind keeps drifting back to the time when Trump had his first summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump was ill prepared.

Putin was way ahead of Trump on all major points.

Tillerson said it was the lack of Trump preparing; he would not even attend the briefings.

He declared that he knew more than the general did.

“In fact,” he added, “I know more about everything than any one does.” He then pointed to his head and called himself a “Stable Genius.” That broke the camel’s back with me.

I wrote, “God forbid we should ever have a major crisis under this one termer’s presidency.” I had written earlier that it would be four years of chaos under Trump.

I could now see the writing on the wall.

Far worse than that, he would never take the experts advice, instead he declared, “I alone can do it.” Right then I saw trouble ahead, one stumble after another from taking babies out of their mother’s arms to promoting civil disobedience.

Remember the KKK and White Supremacist causing civil disobedience and Trump saying, “There were good people on both sides.” That’s the way he musters his Bubbas.

He can use that 30 percent at any time, mostly to whip republican senators or congressmen who don’t tote the line.

That is why they fear crossing him; he can cut his Bubba’s loose.

Trump’s doing it again by encouraging the Bubba’s to play havoc in states with democratic governors.

Trump won’t insist that they go along even with his own guidelines.

In fact, just the opposite.

Again when the crisis came he wouldn’t listen to the experts and called the Coronavirus “A hoax.” Despite warnings Trump dragged his feet and lagged on a plan.

Instead of preparing, he sent millions of face mask to China, then when the U.S. needed them he claimed Obama had left the cupboard bare.

You can always bet that “crisis defines character.” Trump shows us every day what his character is.

He’s the master of propaganda. Every day for two hours he uses the daily briefings as his soap box to try to rewrite history.

The Wall Street Journal poll shows that the voters have not bought it.

He will continue to blame everyone else for his lack of leadership.


10 Years Ago-2010

April 21, 2010, is the day Joseph Roberts, Jr., stole the life of Michael Lee “Mickey” McNamara, age 76.

He had owned McNamara Insurance Agency since 1963.

Mickey was an Orange native, born Aug. 9, 1933.

He had graduated from Stark High in 1951 and Lamar University in 1955.

Joseph Roberts, Jr., now 31, is currently serving a life sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas for the murder McNamara 10 years ago this week.

Roberts entered McNamara's business and beat him and his niece, Joyce Cross, with a baseball bat.

Roberts also stole $100 from Cross who survived the attack.

A 12-person jury took only 55 minutes to come back with an unanimous conviction of capital murder for Roberts on April 27, 2011.

Judge Buddie Hahn sentenced him to an automatic life without parole sentence.

The DA was not seeking the death penalty because he was found to be mentally disabled.


10 Years Ago-2010

Much thanks to local historian Roy McDaniel for providing many old photographs for our 50th anniversary issue last week.

The Record lost many historical photos after Ike and we are grateful for the donations.***** A lot of people were surprised to learn that Judge Joe Parkhurst was a star left-handed pitcher for Bridge City in that first district championship game.

Most thought he was an Orange boy.

Joe was from the Cove and during those early years, those kids attended B.C. school.

Joe went on to be a star pitcher at Sam Houston.

*****Micha “Big Mike” Ellender was sworn into Uncle Sam’s Army Sunday.

He was accompanied to the Houston swearing in by his dad Kirk.

***** The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dined at Robert’s last week.

Thirty percent of Judge Derry Dunn’s graduating class attended.

*****It looks like every few weeks we lose one of our beautiful characters.

The latest is Joe Grossman, who described himself as a New York Jew but what a jewel he was.

We went back many, many years with him and Wilma.

Joe died April 21 at age 91.

A memorial service was held April 25.

He and Wilma were married 65 years.

They had been longtime residents of Orange.

Claude and Pauline Wimberly were the Grossman’s next-door neighbors.

Claude always had a Grossman story.

***** We were sorry to hear about the death of Howard Neal Harvey, 51, who died April 23.

Services held Wednesday, April 28.

He was the son of former Bridge City Mayor Gordon Harvey.

We understand the death might have been caused by a coral snake bite.

***** We were sorry to hear about the death of Milford “Peanut” Nichols, 55, who died April 23.

Services were held Tuesday.

*****President Obama honors 29 fallen miners.

Tears filled his eyes.

It was a moving ceremony.

The President visited Billy Graham at his North Carolina home.

The two prayed together.*****A big retirement party will be held for game warden, Big Mike Keeney, on April 30, 5 p.m.

at the Bridge City Community Center. Everyone is invited.

Mike, at 6 foot, 9 inches, 400 pounds is a gentle giant.

For many years he has served this area.

What a guy.***** It was somewhat ironic that the great Texas combo, receiver Jordan Shipley and quarterback Colt McCoy, followed each other in the draft. Shipley was 84th, McCoy 85th.

Both picked by Ohio teams.

Shipley goes to Cincinnati Bengals, McCoy to the Cleveland Browns. At least Dr.

Amber Dunn, at University Hospital in Cleveland, will have one fellow Longhorn to brag about.

Colt is the holder of 47 Longhorn records.

*****I believe the above proves how significant being drafted in the first round is.

Earl Thomas was one of the selected few and brought a lot of recognition to his hometown.

Number 14 out of nearly 300 says a lot about this young man’s talent,

40 years ago-1980

Honor graduates announced by BCHS are valedictorian, Kay Michelle Emmert; salutatorian Donna Marie Stone; highest ranking boy, Paul Anderew Zoch.

*****Shelly Pate named best actress in BCHS presentation, “The Heart of Maryland,” in UIL competition.*****Barbara Gillis is in a Beaumont hospital after receiving a injury when a file cabinet fell on her at work.*****Grady Johnson named Business Person of the Quarter by Greater Orange Chamber.

He is the owner of Johnson Butane, sells portable buildings and runs the Fireplace Shop.

He owns the buildings that house Ron and Nancy’s Bookstore, Pinehurst Pharmacy, the Moped Shop, Aloe Shop,Charles Chips Etc.

and two doctors’ offices.

He also serves on the Pinehurst council.

(Editor’s note: Forty years ago they hadn’t seen nothing yet from the boy from Shelby County.

He became mayor and governor of Pinehurst and owns most of the city.

(Editor’s note: Grady passedaway several years ago.)*****Jerry Pennington runs for city council.

His motto is, “A new and energetic force at city hall.”*****An official Texas Historical Marker for Emma George Latchem, 1854-1929, will be dedicated April 26 at grave side in Evergreen Cemetery.

Mrs. Latchem was one of the early teachers in Orange from 1873 to 1915.

She is the first lady in Orange County to be honored with a Texas Historical Marker.*****Lester “Buckshot” Winfree thanks the voters.

“Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me by electing me to serve on the Orange County Port and Navigation Board. Thanks for the privilege.”*****Jarvis A. Buckley Jr.

is a candidate for county commissioner, Pct.

3.*****On the ballot for president in the Democratic primary are Jimmy Carter, Edward M. Kennedy and Jerry Brown.

For sheriff, Fred Hill and Ed Parker.*****Clyde Mitchell Chesson, Thomas “Tick” Granger and P.M. “Red” Wood are all running for county commissioner, Pct.


(Editor’s note: Tick was elected in a runoff with Wood.)


This week Harry’s Appliance is celebrating 57 years in business.

Harry goes back 50 years with The Record as his primary advertising media.

In the beginning Harry was a small independent dealer competing with 10 other appliances stores, including two Morrow stores, Wilshires, McClary’s, Gem, Sears, Family Stores, Montgomery Wards etc.

Even Fain & Coy had an appliance store.

Today, Harry’s is Orange County’s leading appliance dealer.

They service everything they sell locally without having to ship appliances off for repair.

Congratulations to our friends at Harry’s Appliance on their 57th birthday.*****Here are some other advertisers still in business who have been with us 40 to 50 years.

Bridge City Bank was in the first Penny Record published.

Claybar Funeral Home was in the first OVN, as well as Harmon’s Used Cars, operated by Donnie Harmon today.

Brown Hearing Aid owner Lee Brown came on board in 1971, as did Smith’s Reliable Cleaners, now owned by Keith Wallace.

Dupuis Gulf, owned by Paul Dupuis, then Kenny Dupuis and now Earl Duhon started advertising with in the Penny Record in 1965.

Danny’s Food Center started in the OVN now The Record is their primary advertising media.

Kenneth Smith bought out Dick Bevins’s Texas Ave. Grocery and has been a steady advertiser through three locations including K-Dan’s.

Danny’s, K-Dan’s, along with Robert’s Grocery and Meat Market are open now but due to shortage of merchandise are not presently advertising.

We look forward to having them back soon.

These are just a few of the advertisers who have been loyal users to our newspapers for many years.

For that we are thankful and we feel we have played some small part in their success.*****A few celebrations this week.

April 22: Today is Earth Day and also Jana Stevens birthday.*****April 23: Roy Orbison died on this day in 1988.

Also Rev. Paul Zoch and Josh’s big brother Jason Smalley celebrates today.****April 24: Capt.

Dickie Colburn, who writes one of the most popular columns in the area, celebrates a birthday.

Also celebrating is Allison Angelle.

Its hard to believe Barbara Streisand turns 78 and Shirley MacLaine is 86 today.*****April 26: Melania Trump turns 50, 22 years younger than Donald.

On this day also is Joe Payne’s old classmate in San Antonio, Carol Burnett, is 87 today.*****April 27: Santa Anna surrendered to Sam Houston at San Jacinta in 1836.*****Gus Harris celebrates a birthday today.

He would have fit in just right in Sam Houston’s day.

Happy birthday to all.

Please see complete list.*****Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City is undergoing a major overhaul.

They are expanding the facilities to better serve the people of Bridge City and Orangefield areas.*****We were sorry to learn that JB’s Barbeque has closed its doors.

For many years, JB’s family has put out the best barbecue in Southeast Texas.

JB is one of our great natives.

He’ll do to ride the range with.*****Also closing the door for good is Southern Charm. I fear there will be others who won’t be back once the pandemic is dead and gone.*****On a lighter note, Donald Trump, Jr.

left his wife and five children to take up with Kimberly Guilfoyle, a media reporter.

Kimberly is the ex-wife of California governor Gavin Newsom.

Junior is following in Dad’s footsteps.

Donald Sr. also left his wife and three kids for Marla Maples, then left her and daughter for his present wife that he has son Barron with.

It is said Trump resents Barron for getting most of his mother’s attention.*****While Coronavirus was spreading, CDCLab contamination caused delays in early testing and squandered valuable time and testing which is still very far behind.*****I spoke with our 98-year-old friend, Pearl Harbor survivor, Cedric Stout.

He and Cherry are just hunkering down.

He says he’s feeling up and down, good one day, not too good the other.

He says they miss the Lunch Bunch.*****Trump insisted his name be on checks going out.

That’s a first for any president.

The Treasurer Secretary has always signed all U.S. government checks.

Nancy and Mitch’s names deserve to be on checks also.

They did the hard work and put the deal together.*****Kim Jong Un of North Korea, is reported to be in grave condition after heart surgery.

Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, is now in charge.

Kim smokes a lot, drinks a lot and for a 37-year-old, is very overweight.*****Could gas at the pump be heading to a low of $1.00? Oil by the barrel dropped to an all time low, minus $37.

Oil stocks are plunging.


Birthdays celebrated this week. April 22: Scott Fisher, Amelia Hollier and Allison Rendall.*****April 23: Brandon Fisher, Glen Prince, Samantha Briggs and Jeremie Breaux.*****April 24: Shaun McAlpin, Sean Edgerton, and Barbara Fuselier.*****April 25: Jeff Fisette, Marriet Litton, Roberto Deleon and James Gilbert.*****April 26: Pam Broussard, Luke Domas, Christi Goodyear and Donna Lee.*****April 27: John Applebach, Mike Cain and Tim Batchelor and Chelsea Ballard.*****April 28: Peggy Dunbar, Joe LaMoine and Josh Blanchard.


Early Dartez had been on a four day drunk him. About midnight Saturday night, Tee-boy told him, “Early, you plum drunk you, if you drink anymore, you gonna kill youself. You need to go home and sleep it off.”

Early him, stagger out of da bar and pass himself though da cemetery. It had been raining four or tree days and it was so slippery Early couldn’t stay on his feets. Wen he come to an open grave he fell in him. It was so slippery and Early so drunk he couldn’t climb himself out dat hole. He start yelling, “Help me, I’m cold.” “Help me please, I’m cold.”

After a little while Sostan Robcheaux him, come out of da bar, drunk as a skunk. He heads home through da cemetery. Den he hear, “Help me, I’m cold.” “Help me please, I’m cold.”

Sostan him, follow da sound till he brought himself to dat grave. Somebody is yelling, “Help me, I’m cold.”

Sostan stood dare and looked at da mound of dirt. Early yell again, “Help me please, I’m cold.”

Sostan say, “Mais sure you cold, you done kick off all you dirt.”



Jacksonville, in the state of Florida, is the largest city in the United States, with 759 square miles.

Our friend Chris Farkus lives there.

*****In the state of Georgia, in 1886, pharmacist John Pemberton made the first vat of Coca-Cola.

*****The year before, in 1885, in Waco, Texas, Dr.

Pepper was invented.

*****The ice cream sundae was invented in 1881 in Wisconsin to get around the Blue Law prohibiting ice cream being sold on Sunday.

*****The Fig Newton is named after Newton, Mass. *****Missouri is the birthplace of the ice cream cone.

*****North Carolina is home of the first Krispy Kreme doughnut.*****The hot dog was invented in Ohio in 1900.

*****The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was opened in Utah in 1951.

I bet you thought it was in Kentucky.

*****What Kentucky does have however is Fort Knox’s$6 billion in gold underneath it.*****Would you believe television was invented in, of all places, Rigby, Idaho, in 1922.

*****Arkansas has the only active diamond mine in the U.S.*****More triplets are born in Nebraska than any other state.

Why you think that is?*****On the other hand, South Dakota is the only state that’s never had an earthquake.

Now ain’t that something.

*****The first state to free women and allow them to vote was Wyoming.

*****The only state in the union to have parishes instead of counties is Louisiana. Gosh, I bet you knew that.

Also, it’s the only state that operates under the Napoleon law and the only state to have nearly two million Cajuns, eat 500 barrels of gumbo and 20 million bowls of rice a year.

Now you know.

*****Before I go, which state begins with two vowels? After you try to figure it out see answer below.*****My time is up.

To all stay safe, stay well and stay indoors.

Take care and God bless.

The answer to the state question is IOWA.


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